Vehicles: The FJ Lives!
As many of you know, our 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser saw adventure from coast to coast. We hit all lower 48 states, parts of Canada and traveled about 70,000 plus miles in road trips. We attended events all over America and had the pleasure of meeting thousands of people along the way. We even started a small business (Bakes FJ, now Bourn Adventure) all because of the FJ. It's safe to say; we had a lifetime's worth of experiences because of her.
For those who might not know, we rolled our FJ on January 4, 2017, while crossing through Ontario, OR. This happened when we encountered a freak snowstorm while traveling on I 84 east. Due to the extent of damage, it was totaled.
After rolling the FJ, we knew our story wasn't over yet. In fact, it gave us the opportunity to start writing a new chapter. This chapter would be titled Bourn Adventure and would allow us to revisit previous destinations, see new places, meet new people, and use different vehicles to Explore America.
Although we knew life would continue for us, we feared that was not the case for the FJ. We thought the roll over was the final chapter for her. Period, end of story, book closed! As fate would have it, she too is writing another chapter!
On February 7th, 2017 a gentleman named Mahmoud Awada found the FJ on Copart, which is an online auto auction site. Not knowing much about the FJ, other than it was a 2012 with approximately 86,000 miles on it, he bought it. Mahmoud is the owner of Awada Motors Group in AL Janub in Lebanon and frequently buys vehicles from the United States and other countries. Once he purchases these vehicles, he has them shipped to his shop with the intent to rebuild/repair and resell.
A few days later, a customer of his asked if he had any FJ Cruisers coming in. Mahmoud sent him a picture of the one he just bought. It just so happened, that customer followed Bakes FJ and recognized it from various social media posts.
After doing some research, Mahmoud reached out to me to inform me that he purchased the FJ. He said the journey would take about one month and ten days before it would reach her new home there in Lebanon.
Mahmoud and I have stayed in contact over the last few months. He was kind enough to send pictures of the progress he made with the FJ. By no means has the rebuild been easy. The FJ had significant damage to the A-pillars, roof, and body. I had also removed the majority of the aftermarket parts, which meant he needed new replacement OEM or aftermarket parts. If that was not enough, some of the suspension components and other parts damaged from the roll over stayed on the vehicle, leading him to deal with that headache too. The stock seats were there, but in pieces, because I used parts from them for the aftermarket seats. On top of all that, it can be difficult and/or costly to find replacement parts or aftermarket parts there in Lebanon.
In just a few short months, he has repaired all of the damage and added some new modifications. Mahmoud has done a fantastic job overcoming the obstacles he faced with this rebuild. The attention to detail is amazing. He even managed to get the red LED interior lighting and outside rock lighting back in working condition. Mahmoud was kind enough to leave all the stickers on the FJ too!
The FJ is now on the road and in the process of writing its next chapter. The FJ has come a long way from laying upside down in a snow covered ditch to Exploring a new part of the world.
From the time the FJ made her maiden voyage, till now, she has been a part of some epic adventures. Although we miss her, we look forward to following along on the adventures the FJ and Mahmoud (or new owner) experience together. We also have an open invitation to visit the FJ there in Lebanon at some point, which we would love to do!
To read the roll over article, please click HERE
To read the JCW MINI Cooper article, please click HERE
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The world is a large place, and life is short. Together, we can accomplish much more than we ever could alone.
Baker and Ashlie are the owners of Bourn Adventure and together they author the majority of the articles and content found here.